FIRST ON WITN: Fire At Martin County Cotton Gin

Fire crews have cleared the scene of a fire at a cotton gin in Martin County.

Bear Grass Fire Department Chief Greg Harrison says the fire at the Roanoke Tar Cotton Inc. Cotton Gin in Everetts was in what's called the "seed shack." It's a metal frame building where the seeds blow into from the cotton gin to store the seeds.

Chief Harrison said the fire never got too intense but was mostly smoldering in the seeds. The only damage was from the firefighters busting in the warehouse to fight the fire, not from the flames.

The fire started at 4 a.m., and Chief Harrison says crews cleared the scene by 8 a.m. Now workers at the cotton gin are keeping watch for hot spots.

It's not clear what started the fire. Chief Harrison says the cotton seed can get heated over time, and it's possible that the seeds can spontaneously combust. However, crews don't know if that's what started this morning's fire.

In addition to firefighters from Bear Grass, crews from Williamston, Robersonville, Hamilton and Oak City responded.

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A fire at a local cotton gin is requiring the response of a lot of firefighters right now.

Martin County dispatchers say they have sent several fire units to the cotton gin in Everetts, run by the Roanoke Tar Cotton Company. The fire was reported with flames showing around 4:15 a.m. this morning.

We're working to get more information on just how serious this is, but a cotton gin is the type of place that can have a lot flammable material inside. We'll keep you posted on this breaking news.